SAN FRANCISCO – June 1, 2017 – PRLog — Menke & Associates, Inc., the nation’s largest and oldest employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) advisory firm, announced today that they are becoming a Founding Member of Certified Employee-Owned® (Certified EO), a new certification program for employee-owned companies.
“Menke & Associates is majority owned by its employees. We are proud to partner with Certified EO, an organization whose mission to expand the awareness and adaptation of employee ownership is the same as ours. We envision Certified EO will become the premier employee ownership certification body, connecting employees, consumers, and companies looking to do business with other employee owned companies” says John Menke, Founder and President of Menke & Associates, Inc.
Besides being an attractive exit strategy for shareholders, ESOP’s can offer substantial wealth to employees. According to recent research conducted by the Oakland, CA based think tank National Center for Employee Ownership, employees aged 28 to 34 who were employee-owners, meaning they participate in their employer sponsored ESOP retirement plan, or their employer is structured as a cooperative, had 92% higher median household wealth, 33% higher income from wages, and 53% longer median job tenure than employees who are not employee-owners.
Employee owned companies are perhaps the best kept secret of our economy; they strengthen communities, foster a financially savvy workforce, are far less likely to lay off people during recessions, and can provide exceptionally large benefits during economic boom times. Having a broad based employee ownership program is socially responsible, and the bottom line is handsomely rewarded in a tangible (there are significant tax and financial incentives) and intangible sense (once employees start acting like owners, the overall health of the company tends to visibly improve).
Menke & Associates, Inc. was founded in 1974 by John Menke who co-authored the landmark ESOP legislation that subsequently spawned an industry and sparked rapid growth of employee ownership in America. Menke & Associates is a national leader in ESOP advisory services and currently administers nearly 1,000 ESOPs. Since 1974, the firm has structured over 3,000 ESOPs, the most by any single organization. It currently acts as a full service ESOP advisory firm, helping business owners sell to their employees, and provides ongoing consulting on accounting, legal, tax, and valuation matters.
Not only does Menke & Associates create employee-owned companies, but it is one itself. It first became employee owned in 1983 when John Menke sold some of his stock to the ESOP, and is now majority owned by its 48 employees. “Our employees offer sound ESOP advisory and consulting services because they live and breathe employee stock ownership plans every day” says John Menke.
An Employee Stock Ownership Plan is a retirement plan, much like a 401k, that buys private company stock rather than public company stock. The selling shareholders sell their stock to the plan and the stock is then allocated to employees.
To join Certified EO, Menke & Associates had to complete a certification process to accredit that is has significant and broad-based employee ownership. To qualify, a company must be at least 30% owned by an ownership plan.
“When you see a ‘USDA Organic’ sticker, it means that a qualified third-party verified compliance with organic protocols. We’re are doing the same for employee-owned companies by looking at a company’s ownership structure,”said Certified EO’s Co-Founder Thomas Dudley.
Based out of San Francisco, Certified EO’s mission is to build a voice for employee ownership in America. “We want employee ownership to be part of the national consciousness,” said Dudley. “Employee-owned companies create wealth for working people and strengthen local economies. By creating a common brand for EO, we’re combining the reach of our members to raise the profile of employee ownership. Our members benefit because we help them tap into Americans’ support for employee ownership in marketing, recruitment, and internal communications.”
To learn more about Certified EO, please visit www.certifiedEO.com